DM competition raises money and appetites

Susan Du

Deep-fried clementine, key lime cupcakes and citrus guacamole – these were just some of the dishes to come out of the kitchen at Dance Marathon’s Top Chef competition Saturday.

More than 100 students attended the event, held at Now We’re Cookin’ cooking school, 1601 Payne St. Fifteen teams competed in one of three categories: appetizer, entree or dessert. The teams had $25 and 30 minutes to prepare a dish using the secret ingredient of citrus.

The contest was to benefit The Children’s Heart Foundation, DM’s primary beneficiary for this year.

Judges included Associated Student Government President Claire Lew, Now We’re Cookin’ chef Nell Funk and Eddie Lakin, the owner of Edzo’s Burger Shop.

Hungry Hearts, a team affiliated with The Children’s Heart Foundation, won the ultimate title of Top Chef with its fruit plate dessert with citrus fondue.

Sporting Northwestern colors with faces dabbed in purple ink, a team made up of Weinberg freshmen Lauren Hall , Jake Wunsh and Ari Sillman teamed up to cook mussels in a lemon-basil creme sauce. The recipe was originally thought up by Sillman, who said he received classical training in culinary arts through the French restaurant where he was employed last summer.

Representatives of CHF also attended the event as judges and guest speakers. Megan Foley, the wife of CHF Execute Director William Foley, said having a cooking competition to fundraise was a great idea.

DM’s secondary beneficiary is the Evanston Community Foundation, which has held that position since 1998. Jeremy Barrows, the director of development and communications at ECF, said DM is one of Evanston’s closest connections to NU.

Whole Foods Market and Now We’re Cookin’ sponsored Top Chef by donating food and venue space. Part of the event’s proceeds will go toward funding grants for Evanston organizations involved in the arts, environment, senior service and primary education, among others.

“Such projects enable organizations to serve the community and reach people beyond their day-to-day operations,” Barrows said. “Top Chef gives the Evanston Community Foundation a stage to tell NU what we’re really up to.”

Lew said the event was a success to her personally because it left her with “very happy taste buds.”

“It’s a testament to how great it can be when NU and Evanston partner for a good cause,” the SESP senior said. “It’s great to see everyone come together for charity.”

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